My friend, Debbie, called this morning to see if I was interested in watching her husband, George, work with his bees. I sure was!!
I was instructed to wear long pants…she had a long sleeve white shirt that I could borrow, rubber gloves, bags for my feet and a bee hood. Once I got there she taped on the gloves and the foot bags…showed me how to put the hood on and tie it in place…Here I am…
The boxes in the wheel barrow in front of me are the “supers” …one will be added to each hive. He has a total of 4 hives.
The hive that he is working on doesn’t have a super yet. I think it’s a new hive. He just put a new queen in it a few weeks ago. He is going to see if he can find her so I can see what she looks like.
This is the third hive. He took a couple of frames from each hive, trying to find a queen. He did find the queen cell, but it looked empty.
This is the spot it was lifted from…the bees were buzzing us but I didn’t feel that they were “angry”….but then I don’t really know what angry bees would be like…they showed interest in the camera and my yellow gloves.
and an even closer look….you can see some of the bees leaning part way into the cell…they are feeding the larvae.
At http://www.roctronics.com/BEE-BASE.HTM I read that the eggs hatch into larva in 3 days…then the nurse bees feed them for 6 days then the cells are capped and the pupa takes about 14 days to become a female worker bee…..Queens take less time and Drones (males) take a day or two longer.
He added a super to each hive in anticipation of the palm trees flowering shortly.
George got everything back together and we called it a day. He wont check them again until Nov. It was a lot of fun and kind of exciting with all those bees buzzing around us….Debbie did a great job taping me up…I didn’t get stung once. …but I was just an observer….I didn’t actually do anything.
I was surprised to learn that the worker bees are female…and there are thousands in a hive. The Drones are the males…they mate with the queen then die.
Here are some of the sounds of working with bees….
4 hives of bees buzzing around….is a lot of bees. Most stayed on the frames or on the front porches of the hives…but many were buzzing us..checking us out. I had a great time. Hope I am here when it’s time to pull honey.